6 Insanely Popular Culinary Herbs And Spices That You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

Are you tired of using the same old herbs in your recipes? With so many different seasoning options out there, why should you stick to the usual rosemary, thyme, parsley or mint?

There are literally hundreds of different spices and seasonings that you could be adding to your next dish.

Still, it can feel bewildering trying to decide which new culinary herbs and spices to add to your spice rack.

So if you want to sprinkle some wow factor onto your next meal, why not try one of these flavorful seasonings from around the world…



culinary herbs and spices

Red Basil – a popular seasoning in curries – has a much stronger taste than it’s green leafed cousin.

It’s vitamin-rich dark purple leaves can inject some real zing into your salad dishes.


KOREA: Shiso Perilla

culinary herbs and spices

Perilla – a favorite cooking ingredient in Japan, Vietnam and Korea – is a musky garnish that goes incredibly well with beef dishes.



culinary herbs and spices

Photo By M. Readey

The purple-red fruits of Sumac give a citrusy flavor to savory meat or vegetable dishes.

Well-liked in Bangladesh, India – and pretty most of the Middle East – Sumac spice can also be used to make a refreshingly cool beverage.

Note: Sumac should never be confused with Poison Sumac, a plant which is not edible.


FRANCE: Chervil

culinary herbs and spices

Also known as ‘French Parsley’, this delicate shrub makes for an ideal garnish atop any fish dish or omelette.


AUSTRALIA: Wattle Seeds

culinary herbs and spices

Photo By John Tann

These all-purpose edible seeds have been traditionally used by Aboriginal Australians for nearly 4,000 years.

Wattle Seeds can be roasted to make a coffee drink (that has strong hints of hazelnut and chocolate).

Or they can be ground to a powder and used in hot drinks and smoothies (similarly to nutmeg or cinnamon).


BRAZIL: Annatto

culinary herbs and spices

Photo By Leonardo Ré-Jorge

Better known in Brazil as ‘Colorau’, the Annatto’s bright red-orange spicy seeds are often used as food coloring.

But if you grind and mix these seeds into a paste, they can make a wonderfully peppery pork meat rub.